Production flexibility is essential for industrial companies that have to deal with seasonal demand.
Human resources are one of the main sources of flexibility. Annualising working hours (i.e., the possibility of irregularly distributing the total number of working hours over the course of a year) is a tool that provides flexibility to organizations; it enables a firm to adapt production capacity to fluctuations in demand. However, it can imply a worsening of the staff’s working conditions. To take the human aspect into account, the planning and scheduling of working time should comply with constraints derived from the law or from a collective bargaining agreement. Furthermore, new and more difficult working-time planning and scheduling problems are arising. This paper proposes a mixed-integer linear program model to solve the problem of planning the production and the working hours of a human team that operates in a multi-product process. Solving the model for different settings provides the essential quantitative information to negotiate the best conditions of the annualised hours system (the elements to establish the trade-off between weekly flexibility and economic or working-time reduction compensation can be obtained). The results achieved in a computational experiment were very satisfactory.
CitationCorominas, A.; Lusa, A.; Pastor, R. "Using a MILP model to establish a framework for an annualised hours agreement". European Journal of Operational Research, 2007, Vol. 177, No. 3, p. 1495-1506.
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